Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

June 24, 2020

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In This Issue:

ASPA Launches 2020 Digital Experience

ASPA’s virtual library of panels repurposed from the 2020 Annual Conference, the 2020 Digital Experience, launched its live events last week with two Founders' Fellows presentations and a look at U.S. voting rights over the past century. Just three of nine live events, among 30 panels and other presentations to enjoy in the recorded library, these virtual discussions have provided an opportunity for almost 300 attendees (so far!) to learn from their colleagues and connect online, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Created this spring after ASPA canceled its Annual Conference, the Digital Experience offers a wide array of topics that represent the learning experiences that would have taken place at the conference, covering public finance, governance, leadership and management, social equity, infrastructure and global public administration—and, of course, COVID-19.

Live events—featuring critical topics for today's public administrators, as well as showcasing "rising star" research in the profession—end this week, but recorded panels will be online for the next six months, providing attendees with the opportunity to participate at their own pace well into the future.

Just a few of the compelling panels within the library include:

  • Accountability, Transparency and Performance Management in Public Management and Collaborative Governance Networks: A look at performance management and collaborative governance networks that rely on complex intergovernmental relations and public-private partnership.

  • Achieving Diversity in Public Safety Hiring: As the title suggests, panelists approach the topic of how public safety organizations bring on new hires. This is a critical conversation, given our current national struggle with police brutality.

  • Emerging Best Practices in Performance Management—Lessons from Leaders: This panel celebrates emerging leaders in local government and some of their work that won them the Emerging Leaders Award from the Center for Accountability and Performance.

  • Government Innovations in Technologies, Sustainability and Governance: This panel provides strategies for government innovations in the areas of technology, sustainability and governance, based on rigorous analysis of practice—featuring some of the profession’s most renowned scholars.

  • Infrastructure Investment—The Importance of Capital Planning, Performance Management Tools and Readiness Criteria: Lest we forget our country's shoddy infrastructure, this panel is here to explore the current status and possibilities for improving the capital planning process at all levels of government, but especially at the state and local levels.
There are 25 more panels, and all of them are extremely compelling. Many of them (though not all!) are listed on our website to give you a preview of what you can expect before you register to gain access to all of them. Take a look and then sign up to join your colleagues in viewing these panels and engaging in more dialogue about these topics.

Expiring in 2021, there is plenty of time for you to make the most of this library of content. Make sure you do—much of this content will remain locked and available only to registrants long into the future.

Contact us with questions!

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During Pandemic Times, Chapters Honor Local Public Administrators Virtually

Normally a week of celebrations, awards ceremonies and widespread recognition, Public Service Recognition Week 2020 took place in a very subdued fashion at the beginning of May, but celebrations of public service have extended into the summer. In the face of COVID-19, ASPA Chapters have worked to continue their time-honored tradition of honoring public administrators and others in their communities for service to the profession—virtually!

Most recently, the Buffalo-Niagara Chapter honored three individuals within their community with excellence awards and the Greater Cincinnati Chapter honored a local assistant city manager.

ASPA will, as usual, include details about all of our Chapters' honorees within an upcoming edition of PA TIMES magazine and we encourage all Chapter leaders to send us their information about the community leaders they have recognized this spring. Any information about the recognition will be helpful—press releases, photos, a simple paragraph summary, Facebook postings or any other way in which your honorees were recognized. Send the details to ASPA staff and we will make sure you are included later this year!

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E-Learning at Your Fingertips

While social distancing continues, ASPA staff are working to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Student and New Professional series programming.

KeepingCurrent: Performance Management During the Pandemic: Why Should Nonprofits Care?
June 30 | 2 p.m. EDT
In partnership with the Center for Accountability and Performance
Isaac Castillo, Director of Outcomes, Assessment and Learning, Venture Philanthropy Partners
Alnoor Ebrahim, Professor of Management, Tufts University
Richard Greene, Moderator, Chair, Center for Accountability and Performance
Julie Russell, Member, Leap Ambassadors Community Support Team
Mary Winkler, Moderator, Founding Member, Leap Ambassadors Community

Over the years, a great deal has been written about the use of performance management in states and localities, but far less attention has been paid to the use of performance data among not-for-profit organizations. This webinar will look at equity considerations for performance measurement and management; performance management from a funder perspective; and the big picture of performance measurement and management in the nonprofit sector.

BookTalk: Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice
July 9 | 1 p.m. EDT
Elaine Yi Lu, Professor, Editor and Director, Department of Public Management, City University of New York—John Jay College
Katherine Willoughby, Golembiewski Professor of Public Administration, University of Georgia

Through thorough examination of performance budgeting laws in U.S. state governments, in-depth interviews with state agency practitioners and quantitative survey analysis of agency heads nationwide, this book examines the influence of performance measurement and management in all phases of the budget process. It examines using performance budgeting at the agency level, honing in on a deeper level of organizational structure than has been provided to date. Join us to hear more from the authors about this important topic.

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COMPA Releases Recommendations for Police Use-of-Force Issues

ASPA's Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) recently released a statement, "George Floyd, Police Brutality and Racial Injustice," which included recommendations for measures to implement at the federal, state and local level to address racism and police violence. The statement read:

"We recommend that public administrators, legislators, community leaders and law enforcement agencies implement the following measures: use of force policy review/changes, civilian oversight of police departments, measures of police accountability, community policing as the foundation of all police policies and the development or expansion of protective structures that include social workers and other professionals. These are the preliminary components of change that we encourage public administrators and community leaders to consider.

Additional recommendations:

Federal Policy:

  • Establish a national standard for police use of force;
  • Demand that all U.S. police departments review and revise their use of force policies in alignment with the desires of the local community;
  • Change the standard for use of force from "reasonable" to "necessary" with a definition that explicitly delineates the elements of necessary use of force;
  • Remove qualified immunity, a legal doctrine in federal law that protects government officials from lawsuits for discretionary actions in their official capacity;
  • Remove the rollback by the U.S. Justice Department of consent decrees with police departments found to be in violation of federal laws;
  • Establish a witness protection program for police officers who want to report criminal police practices in their agencies but are fearful of retaliation;
State Policy:
  • Review and implement former President Obama's 21st Century Taskforce's recommendations for police reform;
  • Enhance civil liability for police officers and police departments found to be in violation federal, state or local laws protecting U.S. citizens;
  • Use a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute police use of force complaints;
Local Policy:
  • Require that police leaders provide local government and residents with a strategic plan that demonstrates their commitment to reducing police violence on the black community;
  • Implement community policing as philosophy across all police departments committed to improving community-police relationships and building trust;
  • Implement a "duty to intervene" policy that would require all sworn officers at a scene where physical force is used to either stop or attempt to stop another officer when the force used is inappropriately applied or no longer necessary;
  • Establish public-private partnerships to listen, learn and develop community-based programs to support, protect and mentor black and brown boys in the community;
  • Develop healing circles where community members can speak freely and safely about their relationships with police departments in their communities;
  • End criminal justice policies that result in the criminalization of communities of color, racial injustice, and mass incarceration.
These recommendations should be considered as a starting point for improving community-police relationships."

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A Look at Public Transportation in a Pandemic World

As localities across the country re-open, a looming question is the status of public transportation: buses, trains, light rail, subways, autonomous vehicles and more. While the CDC has issued recommendations that Americans drive alone as much as possible, that is not always an option, especially for those who do not own cars (almost nine percent of the population, nationwide). Public transit remains, in many places and for many people, one of the few options available, but the question remains: How can you make it a safe choice?

Thought to be a hotbed of virus activity, research from around the world now refutes this argument, demonstrating instead that COVID-19 clusters are not originating in public transit systems. Reports from Paris, Austria, Hong Kong, Milan, Tokyo and more all fail to show COVID-19 infection spikes related to use of public transit. In fact, according to an article from Route Fifty, "Hong Kong has recorded only about 1,100 COVID-19 cases, one-tenth the number in Kansas, which has fewer than half as many people."

Encouraging research, perhaps, but in cities such as Washington, DC, where the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority believes it will be a full year from now before its system can carry pre-pandemic capacity, that is of little comfort. Even if riding on public transit does not guarantee you will be exposed to the virus, what do you do when you cannot get on a train or bus due to limited supply?

The Perkins and Will Mobility Lab proposes that transit agencies partner with ride-share companies to ease the burden as they build up capacity. In a newly released white paper, Perkins and Will note: "COVID-19 restrictions could mean that transit networks will need to run more buses more frequently on busy routes, for example, to ensure passengers can distance from each other while commuting. Under that scenario, transportation network companies 'could alleviate the financial burden on public transit systems by providing transit riders with a more frequent and personalized service,'...especially on less trafficked routes."

Cities like New York City, Monrovia, California and Kansas City, Missouri have offered ridesharing passes under limited circumstances in pre-pandemic times. It's possible we will see more cities offer those options as public transportation works to bring services back up to a reasonable level. (Just remember to wear your masks!)

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Peter G. Peterson Foundation Launches COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Indicators Website

For those interested in tracking federal spending related to COVID-19, which, by all accounts, gets harder every day, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation has launched a website dedicated to, "...providing research and analysis, tracking the actions our leaders are taking to respond and providing insights on the state of America's fiscal and economic outlook during the recovery."

Featuring data, news articles and legislative analysis, this website is a robust resource to see where the United States stands at any given point in time. No matter your focus, take a look at this website and bookmark it for future reference.

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Tips and Resources

Here are a range of resources—from lighthearted to immensely useful—posted online recently that you should check out!

Retirement Myth Busting
There are some widely held beliefs about federal retirement that simply aren't true. These ideas can lead federal employees down a dangerous path when it comes to making key retirement planning decisions. Check out this list from GovExec and plan for your future!

How the Pandemic Upended Our Perception of Time
Research funded by the National Science Foundation shows the extent to which Americans' internal clocks have gone haywire since the start of COVID-19.

A Guide to Pay and Benefits During Furloughs
Here is what federal workers in fee-funded agencies can expect in terms of pay and benefits if they find themselves on the receiving end of a furlough notice, according to 2017 guidance published by the Office of Personnel Management.

There's No Going Back, But Be Wary of the 'New Normal'
What leaders can learn from COVID-19, climate change and other global phenomena is that asynchronous change is here to stay. Regardless of their mission, successful leaders in government must recognize they are in the change business. This column's authors offer five imperatives for today's leaders in these unprecedented times.

TSP Announces CARES Act Loans Now Available
Federal workers and retirees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may now take advantage of favorable loan terms on their retirement accounts.

Back Pain: Four Ways to Fix Bad Lockdown Posture—By Copying Astronauts
Lockdown could be bad for your back. Thanks to measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are now working from home. This means you might not be moving around as much and your home desk setup (and the posture you adopt while working) might not be as good as it should be. These are all things that can lead to back pain, but you might find our advice to astronauts helpful.

We released other lists of resources in previous editions of Bridge, dating back to April. Check out our archives and look for the "Tips and Resources" articles to find them!

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Coronavirus in the News
While you can find our usual assortment of news headlines from the past several weeks below, here are stories specific to the coronavirus that are noteworthy.


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity Back to Top


(Otherwise) in the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity
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Members in the News

ASPA members have made news in a variety of ways recently. Below are the headlines we've found; if you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.

It's Time to Rethink Government's People Management Practices
In an opinion piece from Howard Risher, he argues the pandemic has highlighted long-standing public workforce problems. But the crisis has also prompted some changes that point the way to work environments that support high performance.

William Glasgall Named Fellow at the Penn Institute for Urban Research
Penn IUR selects fellows who have deep expertise in the field of urbanism and who are important contributors to field. Penn IUR is dedicated to advancing cross-disciplinary urban-focused research, instruction and civic engagement on issues relevant to cities around the world. As the global population becomes increasingly urban, they hold that understanding cities is vital to informed decisionmaking and public policy at the local, national and international levels.

MSU's Dallas Breen Named President of Consortium of University Public Service Organizations
Dallas Breen, executive director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State, has been named president of the Consortium of University Public Service Organizations.

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Welcome New ASPA Members!
Click here to view the most recent new ASPA members!

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

  • IIAS E-Conference: Sustainable Development Goals: 10 Years to Go
    June 25, 2020, Noon - 2 p.m. UTC
    In 2030, the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) will celebrate its 100th anniversary, at the same time the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be realized. As we are 10 years from that goal, this panel aims to take stock of realizations and remaining challenges. It especially focuses on the role public administration can play, as an enabler of all SDGs, and as a specific set of targets enclosed in the 16th SDG. Click here for more information and register online here.

  • SAPA 2020 Symposium
    June 26, 2020, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. EDT
    ASPA's Section on African Public Administration is hosting a virtual symposium this Friday. The theme is "Vision 2020 for Africa’s Development Transformation: Challenges and Opportunities."
    Contact the Section for Zoom details.

  • Institute for Peace and Dialogue Summer Programs
    Basel, Switzerland
    Winter programs beginning in December
    Applications due in September

  • 28th NISPAcee Annual Conference
    Split, Croatia
    October 14-17
    Postponed from May

  • 3rd Vietnam Symposium in Leadership and Public Policy
    Ha Noi, Vietnam
    October 26-27
    Papers are due by June 28; registrations are due by September 13.

  • 2020 Northeast Conference on Public Administration
    Boston, Massachusetts
    November 6-8
    Find the Call for Proposals online here. Priority proposals are due May 31; all abstracts are due by August 3.
    This event has changed to an entirely virtual event. In-person panels are no longer taking place.

  • NAPA's 2020 Fall Conference will be hosted in a virtual format.

Calls for proposals, nominations and announcements:
  • EGPA Virtual Session on Behavioral Public Administration.
    Theme of the Year: Connecting Behavioral Public Administration and Computer Science (Call for Abstracts)

    The 2020 theme will be on analyzing how behavioral public administration can connect to new developments in computer science including, but not limited to, machine learning, algorithms and surveillance. A great share of the challenges public managers face concern questions of how to change human behaviors in desirable ways, and how to design organizational models and management processes that consider new developments in big data, algorithms and IT more generally. All abstracts are due June 30. Click here for more information.

  • Review of Public Personnel Administration (ROPPA) Call for Papers—The Power of Public Service: Human Resource Management and the COVID-19 Pandemic
    This symposium explores existing human resource management (HRM) policies and practices in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges that emerged and the path forward post-COVID-19. Submissions are welcome that explore HRM and COVID-19 through empirical and theoretical lenses. In considering the relationship between HRM and the COVID-19 crisis, this symposium seeks studies that focus on units of analysis such as HRM systems, employment and HR structures and the management-employee relationship and how it has been affected by this crisis. Abstracts are due by July 1.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • ABFM Accepting Nominations for its Michael Curro Student Paper Award
    Graduate students who have written outstanding papers in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised projects are eligible. The paper must be nominated by a faculty supervisor and must have been written within the last twelve months. It may not have been previously presented at a professional conference and may not yet be published. To be considered, papers must be sole-authored. The papers can represent a variety of formats and topics within the broader interests of ABFM. Nominations are due by July 1, 2020.
    Click here for more information.

  • State and Local Government Review Call for Papers—2020 Special Issue: "Filling a Vacuum: Subnational Governance amidst National Government Inaction"
    While the coronavirus pandemic is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime event, the intergovernmental dynamics it has sparked are not uncommon in the contemporary United States. The objective of this special issue is to publish original research that examines the implications of this emerging intergovernmental dynamic. We hope to include five or six short articles (about 6,500 words each) on individual policy areas where subnational governments have filled the vacuum left by national government inaction. Proposals should be submitted by July 1, 2020.
    Contact [email protected] or click here for more information.

  • Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management Special Issue—Stretching the Public Purse: Budgetary Responses to a Global Pandemic
    This Special Issue will examine the immediate budgetary responses to the pandemic by different countries and explore the long-term fiscal implications of these policies and their potential boomerang effects on the political, economic, social, and budgetary institutions. Since budgeting is a reflection of politics and politics, social and budgetary institutions can, in turn, be severely impacted by fiscal and economic hardship, looking at this pandemic as an exogenous shock to the existing institutions of different countries provides a golden opportunity for researchers to examine how and why budgetary policies are made, and how fiscal stress may create significant and, sometimes unintended, consequences on institutions. Paper submissions are due by July 15.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA) Call for Papers: Government Capacity, Quality and Governance Outcomes in the Asia Pacific Region
    In recent years, public administration and political science scholars have "rediscovered" the importance of public bureaucracies for understanding different levels of government performance and broader socioeconomic outcomes. There have been increasing number of studies that address the significance of the output side of the political system (i.e. public administration and policy implementation) rather than the input side (i.e. quality of electoral democracy) for favorable outcomes. While there have been increasing number of studies on government capacity and bureaucratic quality focusing on areas beyond North America and Western Europe, relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the Asia Pacific area. Reflecting APJPA’s vision and commitment to promote the study of public governance and administration and management in and beyond Asia and the Pacific, we invite research that makes theoretical or empirical contributions to the study of government capacity, quality and broader governance outcomes. All proposals are due by November 1, 2020.
    View the full Call for Papers online here.

  • Natural Hazards Review—Special Edition for COVID-19
    The proposed special collection seeks research that assesses the degree to which technical infrastructure to support interactive communication across multiple scales of decisionmaking increases or decreases social capacity for collective action to reduce the threat of COVID-19 on a global scale. All papers are due by November 1, 2020.
    Find the call for papers online here.

  • International Journal of Public Administration Special Issue Symposium on Leading and Managing Responses to Pandemics
    The International Journal of Public Administration (IJPA) invites article proposals for a Special Issue Symposium on Leading and Managing Responses to Pandemics. Proposals for scholarly papers on a wide range of sub-topics using quantitative and/or qualitative analysis approaches will be considered, including strong theoretical works, single-site case studies and comparative case studies. Scholarly manuscripts must be grounded in theory/literature and empirical evidence, and use sound analytical methods. Findings should be generalizable. Single-site case studies will be subject to different, more practical, review criteria. The Special Issue will be published online in spring 2021; the print volume will be published in summer 2021. All proposals are due November 15, 2020.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • State and Local Government Review Call for Papers—Governance Matters Section
    The Governance Matters (GM) section of State and Local Government Review (SLGR) invites complete submissions as well as proposals from authors for individual articles or topic specific collections in a symposium format for potential publication in 2021. Prospective authors are encouraged to contact Grant Rissler, SLGR GM Editor ([email protected]) about any ideas for this section of the journal. Click here for more information.

  • Chinese Public Administration Review (CPAR) Covid-19 Commentaries
    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPAR is calling for contributions to a special issue featuring COVID-19 commentaries from scholars and practitioners throughout the world. Editors expect the December 2020 issue will be devoted to this topic. Submissions are encouraged on a priority review basis beginning now and through the summer. The length of a submission is no more than 5000 words, including references. CPAR editors will provide a rapid review process of 15 days for all commentaries related to COVID-19. Submissions should not have been published previously and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Find the Call for Proposals online here.

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Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)

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Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.